Wilderness Explorers at Animal Kingdom


#1

So who’s collecting Wilderness Explorer badges? :happy:
Becoming a Wilderness Explorer is a Walk in the Park Disney Parks Blog

This replaces the Kids’ Discovery Club at Animal Kingdom. Instead of stamps on paper cards, kids (and adults!) now get a nice booklet when they join the Wilderness Explorers and then collect badges (stickers) in it throughout the park.

(disclaimer: not my photo, found it online)

I did a Professional Internship in 2011 where I was one of the leaders of the Kids’ Discovery Clubs, so I had to try the Wilderness Explorers to see how it had all changed. I think it is VERY much improved! The KDC had only 5 stations, one in each land, and sometimes it was difficult to get kids to understand how the activity related to what they had just seen in the park or to conservation in general. For example, I always had trouble at the station in Africa, which was at the end of the Pangani Forest Trail. Kids had just seen and learned all about gorillas and were in total gorilla-mode… but the game was about a rhino. It was a little tough for us and frustrating for the kids, especially for younger kids or kids who hadn’t seen a rhino on safari yet, to get them to add up the clues and come up with “rhino” as an answer.

But now there are LOTS of badges (I think 30+… including one about gorillas on Pangani!) all around the park, so it’s easy to collect a bunch even in just one land. And the kids learn about all kinds of things - conservation, of course, but also music, world cultures, ham radios, currency exchange, hygiene… so many fun activities, and they’re done in so many different ways. For some badges you have to find animals, for some you have to use your book and your pencil (provided when you start out) to make a rubbing, for some you have to do something hands-on, for some you just talk and listen.

Personally, I think it’s GREAT! I’d love to hear what others think of it. If you/your kids did the Kids Discovery Club, how do you think it compares to the KDCs?

I need to go back and earn more badges. I’m only at Tadpole level! The wilderness must be explored! CAW CAR ROAR!!

(disclaimer again: not my photo, also found it online)


#2

Can’t wait to try this out in September with the kids. They liked the Kid’s Discovery Club, but it felt like more of an afterthought. They’ll really get into collecting 30+ badges.

I like this trend towards interactive activities in WDW. Its fun watching kids just light up when they get to interact with something, rather then just watching show or riding an attraction.


#3

we spent a few hours doing this in June. i LOVED it!!! normally AK is a half day park because the kids usually end up bored and it’s a lot of walking for little entertainment. this had them excited and wandering all over the park:)


#4

This looks really cute!! I’d love to try it.


#5

Yay!! :slight_smile:

I agree. We also tried the new Pirates interactive thing in Adventureland (can’t remember the name… something of the Seven Seas) where you get a map for each mission. We really liked that too!!